Top 10 Best Survival ExpertsSurvival expert show us how to survive in non civilization areas like forests and deserts.
EJ is the epitome of physical and mental toughness, which is the key ingredient of survival. You can lack size, strength and even a few skills (EJ doesn't lack anything), but if you are tough, you can overcome. EJ is as humble as he is tough, which is another key item his survival toolbox. I've seen him humble himself many times on N & A and let his team help him get through. It's not in his DNA to sit back and let others provide for him, but it's necessary sometimes and he puts his pride aside when he has to, which brings me to the next reason why he's number one.
He's a strong team player. There are leaders and there are followers on every good team. A good team player can assume either role when needed to help the team win. A good team player cares more for the success of the team than they do for themselves. EJ personifies this concept. If I were in any tough situation and could choose anyone on earth to have with me, I'd choose him without a second thought. Simply put, EJ ...more
EJ is the Godfather of Naked and Afraid and has been an amazing survivalist on any challenge that he has done whether it is on or off screen. He is patient, intelligent, resilient, and kind and tries his best to help others and teach them from his vast amount of knowledge. He definitely deserves to be in the top 10.
When you put a bunch of bad asses together in one room, then EJ enters the room, he immediately becomes the bad asses' bad ass. A real warrior. The man can survive anywhere on the planet with his level of training, knowledge and real life experience. The Skullcrusher wins this, hands down.
Watching EJ on. Both Naked and afraid and Dual Survival he really has the skills and attitude to survive anywhere! Last season he feel and cut his man parts and let them suture him in Louisiana with no Lidocaine no pain medicine nothing. Never heard him complain. I do thin Matt W deserves to be in this as well but E.J. Definitely deserves this honor!
Terrible survivalist. He once said that if you are getting dehydrated, you can drink you own pee, which is wrong for so many reasons. Firstly, your urine is what your body rejects and doesn't need. Secondly, it is full of bacteria and is likely to make you sick. He also suggested drinking the fluids out of a fresh pile of elephant dung. Anyone with common sense knows that is something no one should ever do. NEVER listen to him.
I don't think you guys know how much of a sham Bear Grylls is. He tried to run from a hungry lion. I mean that is just stupid. Bear also has his camera crew build the shelters and rafts and then he dissects them and "teaches" how to build them, or give a basic idea of how it's built. He also has every single survival tool he needs. Oh, and I forgot, he literally sleeps in HOTELS while filming Man Vs. Wild. And he always pretends to pant while climbing almost vertical rock faces. I mean the ability needed to do that is impressive but doing it is extremely stupid. He could slip and fall to his death. He couldn't survive a day in the wild without his hotels and camera crew.
Bear Grylls is the best out there. When he was just 18 years old, he attended the SAS Selection. The selection is the hardest in the world. It consists of carrying a fifty plus pound bag and hiking tens of miles at a time in the hilly Breakon Beakens with little food, water, or sleep. After that, he continued to the jungle training where you have to live, survive, and fight in the harsh jungles of Borneo. Then it's interrogation training where you have to resist torture and capture. It started with 150 men. Bear was one of 4 men to pass. After that he was trained in advanced weaponry, jungle survival, escape and evasion, and much more. He managed to recover from a bad parachute accident and be the youngest Brit to summit Mt. Everest. He's done many expeditions to raise money for charity's. His show is awesome! He is one of a kind and very enthusiastic! More than anything, he has a wonderful family. Good job Bear!
Extremely knowledgeable, excellent survival tips (not gonna drink my own pee though). Seems like he's not afraid of anything and has a warm positive attitude so that would make any partner of his feel safe and secure. I'm loving the celebrity challenges, but would also like to see average people, like me, do 'bucket list' challenges with Bear. I'm sure like me, there are many average people who would LOVE the opportunity to do these things with him. I think it would be amazing!
He has real world knowledge and can give practical techniques. Where as some of the other "top rated" suggest you swim through freezing cold water under a mountain not knowing where it comes out or if there is an exit. Or that it's intelligent to walk around barefoot through snow. Just examples of the "other guys" nonsense.
Mykel gives useful, practical, and safe guidance that would actually help in a survival situation. Not to mention his survival gear is better than any out there!
And that is only listing the survival side of my vote. Mykel is someone I would want to have my back in ANY situation. He is a considerate man, a proud father, a fantastic husband, and an individual who strives to make a positive mark in this world. He deserves the top of this list for more reasons than just his survival expertise.
There is definitely no other qualified for first on this list. Captain Hawke is the perfect combination of Badass SF guy and Survivalist Expert. A person can learn more in one episode with him than in an entire season with any other. Not only can he apply his knowledge firsthand, but he can teach that knowledge to another with patience and compassion. It is the mark of an incredible teacher and leader to be able to do so. His passion for teaching is evident and makes a person want to learn more. What is refreshing is that he is not ego-driven as others in the survivalist community. Furthermore, Captain Hawke is an inventor whose mind crafts better ways to make knives and other products user friendly. My vote is for Captain Hawke!
I loved watching Man, woman, wild. I loved the interaction between Mykel and his wife, Ruth. It was very entertaining and I miss it greatly. He was teaching Ruth how to survive, and in doing so, He taught a lot of us home adventures how to survive also. Other shows, teach you things, however Mykel used the frank approach, no Hollywood lights or clamor, just the facts needed to survive, and doing it in a smart way. I have watched a lot of survival shows as well as videos on you tube, and in my opinion, the Man, Woman, Wild was the best the Network had to offer.
Mykel Hawke is clearly the best all-round survival mentor among the ones we know about, because of the unusually broad range of personal skills and experiences his life and professional career have given him (in addition to his notable wilderness survival skills, he is also a medical and counselling professional, and even a tactical operations expert & martial artist). Perhaps more to the point, his personal values. perspectives and insights on survival, morality, and life in general are applicable to anyone.
Yet, Captain Hawke comes across as a personable, approachable guy to interact with: compassionate, humourous, and with remarkable humility for all his many virtues and achievements. All in all, the kind of ally everyone might hope to run into on the beach; when the plane is down, the crew is out, all the gear is lost, the rebels are in the next valley, and your ten-year-old needs medical attention "as the wolves start to circle".
Les stroud takes a smart and collected look at every survival situation I have ever seen him in. While most others run and jump into scenarios they may not be well suited for or do things out of shear spontaneity. To have bear grylls ranked #1 is a pure joke. His shows are phony and scripted. For example, watching him drink his own urine as a source of "hydration" was ridiculous. Stroud on the other hand teaches you how to use your urine to create clean drinking water. Just a small example, but if half of the people watched half the amount of survival shows and documentaries I have, its clear that les stroud is a knowledgeable survival expert who truly practises what he preaches through out day to day life.
I too am a survivalist. There are some big dogs on this list. I chose Les because he has proven that he can survive unsupported and alone which is much more difficult than having someone around for mental or safety support. I too often survive alone because I can't find anyone that wants to keep up with me. I think Les could teach me a lot and I believe I can teach him home things as well. I think we would make a great survival match and I hope to head out into the bush with him very soon. He is not glamorous but he knows how to get the job done and he fights his fears more than most.
Survivorman was THE first survivalist show I have ever watched. I was amazed at what he did and how he did it. Watching him walk up and down a freezing mountain to get the shots was amazing to watch.
When he goes on locations he's not familiar with, he gets the knowledge he needs from the locals, which is what any wise survivalist should do in the first place. His techniques are practical for what is available in his surroundings.
He's an average guy like most of us and that appeals to all of us human beings.
Les is always about doing things in the safest and most efficient way possible to conserve energy, while trying to improve a situation at the same time. He's on his own without support to bail him out, and has made some mistakes along the way. But his methodical approach never puts him in a situation that he can't recover from, which is the point of surviving. Unlike some who do backflips out of 10ft high trees into a swamp to get out of the tree, or unnecessarily take on a creature the could hurt or kill them for food.
I have been through three of Dave's courses, and have attended his annual Pathfinder Gathering. This man knows his stuff and is ready to teach you in simple enough terms that you'll be able to pick it up, apply it and it will sustain you. He emphasizes "dirt time" to learn, not just books, slides or dry erase boards. If he tells you about an herb or tree, you'll have to go find him one by yourself and bring it back to demonstrate that you know it. If he teaches you how to find food, you'll have to go get it by yourself and bring it back to show that you understand. A real down-to-earth expert that cares. If you're out with him, you will eat, not starve.
I've been looking for Expert opinions, facts, gear used by professionals. I would watch Videos, take classes and learn from Amateurs who make mistakes to Masters of the Bushcraft Art who have made many more mistakes. I haven't been able to find another Teacher, Guide and Friend like David Canterbury. Every lesson I've reviewed and all the videos that involve him is in regards to the "Common Man." He uses those same working skills under stressful conditions and teaches them to be used to greater effect to the average person. You don't have to master each skill, you only have to achieve the point where you know if you have to start a fire, cook food, obtain clean water, or build an efficient shelter; You do it every time. Self Reliance is an art that you give a little of your time to improve and learn. Its not just learning for yourself but everyone around you can achieve the same amount of success. He teaches about the challenges you'll face, corrects your mistakes and helps you learn ...more
Having been in real world "survival" conditions and having trained with Dave Canterbury afterward, I can undeniably attest to his knowledge and skill level. Unlike most other survival experts, Dave is training Search And Rescue Teams (the folks who do it day in and day out). He works from a realistic place and his philosophy is based on practicality. The man is without ego and has a humble demeanor. I'm looking forward to training with him again. He doesn't sell any pie-in-the-sky fantasies about turning people into Grizzly Adams types, but rather focuses on teaching a person "how to" fish instead of giving them a fish. He and his instructors teach people how to improvise and how to think for themselves instead of just taking what they are taught verbatim and stopping there. I always feel like he's sharing more than just teaching and sense in the man that he's genuinely trying to impress upon others that they can take control of their circumstances to effect self-rescue and better ...more
I like a lot of these guys, but if I had to pick one it would be Dave hands down. Dave offers a no bull crap mentality to everything he does. He has shown he can survive any weather condition on earth, and learns from everything he does, he is also a great teacher, look him up on YouTube. Where are these other guys? I really like Ray Mears too, but unless you have a lot of money you'd never get one on one with him. That's what sets Dave apart from ALL these guys. Follow what Bear does and you will die, teaches very few wilderness skills. Nobody, and I mean nobody puts more thought into survival than Dave, ROCK ON MAN! Chris R. From Missouri.
All time favorite. No actual comparison between him and the others. But there are many with super strong survival skills! But if my life depended on it, Matt Graham is the man!
Matt Graham is as impressive of a survivalist as anyone I have watched and read upon. He has the right personality and attitude of the type person you would want to survive around and to learn from for as far as I'm concerned hands down he is the very best of all. Impressed with his decisions on all different terrains to survive. He can make a shelter out of feathers and cordage no joke the man is something else. And the way he respects the land the environment and all living things he and I would have lots in common. Have to respect the man and his knowledge he has within him for survival. I would really enjoy doing survival with him for he doesn't seem to ever be over taken by situations that may develop and calmly and rationally moves through each obstacle to be rescued or found. He takes the time along the way to thank nature and life he must take to survive and that's the way it should be. Never forgets we must co-exist with nature and all living in it. Wish Matt would do a show ...more
I think Matt Graham is wonderful. I appreciate his easy living attitude. Using him as inspiration, I have moved even farther in decluttering my home and owning fewer possessions. I am so much freer. I don't think I could ever go as primitive as Matt does, but I am buying next to nothing and donating what I don't use and the feeling is great. Oh, yea, and hiking more. If he can survive his way, I can certainly live more intentionally and flourish.
It's rare you can find a man go anywhere in the world and feel like he's on vacation. Cool, relaxed, & always informational. Guy brings a brand new aspect to television survival shows and the things he teaches aren't new techniques but forgotten. Plus being able to spit water in a cup, have Joe Teti drink it, then explain the water extraction process was funny. Between Matt and Les in my books.
The ability to troubleshoot issues in nature and come up with solutions so quickly and explain them to others is so valuable. Able to work with others who are different and communicates effectively. Strong survivalist all around.
Cody is obviously the best survivalist when it comes to being able to turn nothing into something. Cody is very knowledgeable when it comes to relying on nature. Also, he has a lot of knowledge about different plants and insects, which is very helpful when you can't find a meat source. Also, Cody has proven to be a well disciplined fire starter because he has shown that he can virtually make a fire out of anything. Also 99.9% of the time, Cody achieves starting a fire. Cody is a great survivalist because he is very cautious. He is cautious because he knows that if one wants to be found alive they have to be careful in the environment that they are in because they may not be familiar with the area. Cody has had 24+ years of survival experience, which shows that he is very knowledgeable and has taken time to perfect his survivalist skills and become the great survivalist that he is today.
Cody Lundin walks the walk. He teaches others to help themselves in situations where tshtf. Search and rescue is a great resource IF you do your part and tell someone where you are going, the route that you will take and what day and about what time to expect you back. Most people don't do this. I have to say I never thought about doing this until he mentioned it in his book. You can't count on help to arrive. Cody teaches people to be their own search and rescue.
To me, the best survival expert is the one whom most effectively passes on life saving knowledge. Cody's work relative to thermal-regulation, fire starting, and shelter building must be among the best in the world. I think he also maintains an edge in physiology, his understanding of how the body works relative to stresses is top shelf in survival instruction circles.
She has the mental fortitude to back up her amazing survival skills. She is a team player but also could survive alone. If I were going to learn from someone, it would be her!
Her true even keeled spirit and ability to work with others that have a poor attitude or selfish one is amazing, her skills are the best I've seen.
Laura is the best! I know anyone would survive being with her. She is also nice, level-headed and kind. Her knowledge is beyond comparison.
Laura is an amazing survivalist. She is the perfect blend of naturalist and survivalist. She doesn't want to dominate an environment.
Mors really has a better viewpoint on what "survival" really is. Everyone else seems to just be cashing in on this movement. Not Mors. You'll never see him with a retail store or a special name sake knife. I've trained with Dave, and he does know his stuff, I'm just saying that Mors was doing real world survival and instructing when these boys were popping pimples before dates. Mors will never smear dirt on his face for a photo op, then spend his entire class selling you product. He is a survivalist, not a salesman or sitcom star.
It is insane that this guy is not at or near the top of the list. He has been an inspiration and teacher to thousands and some of the people higher up than him on this list have been taught by him and been on his courses. Being the best at survival is not about looking the coolest it is about inspiring and educating. That is what Mors has been doing for decades.
I don't have to say anything about Mr. Kochanski. His legacy speaks for itself. He is the real deal and you don't see him trying to sell you a bunch of crappy gear with his name on it or acting like his way is the only way like some of these other guys do. You can tell a lot about a person by their friends and their followers and Kochanski is top class.
I have had the pleasure of being taught by Mors and chatting with him and I found him to be a wealth of knowledge. And never to proud to to listen to what you have to say and give you compliments if he thinks you are doing something that he hasn't or thought of before seen before
I've seen several of these top Survivalists demonstrate their skills on various T.V. series, and of course, Kellie is known for being the first woman to appear and complete her challenge on Naked and Afraid. I have followed Kellie for several months on Facebook, and it is difficult for me to believe there is ANYONE on this Top 100 list that could surpass her in her love of sharing knowledge of symbiotic relationships in nature, and of course, her love of the outdoors and beauty of nature in all its forms. She revels in it daily, and should earn her a special spot on this list. "Get Outdoors and Go Wild! "
If I got lost or stranded in the wild, I want Kellie to be my sidekick. No question she is a survivalist, but she is also a compassionate team player who puts others first. I know, having worked with her on and off for three years, I have seen her in action and know she would never leave me behind unless she knew it was the only option for US to survive. I can go on and on, but no need to as others have said it all.
Kellie is a very close and dear friend. She has taught me so much valuable knowledge... And most important for me personal... Spend more and more time in nature. You become more in tune with your surroundings. I thank God for Kellie and all the good she has done with the younger people in her, "Angels Among Us Youth Camp" along with all of her great accomplishments... There is no one like her!
Kellie is amazing at what she does, and she enjoys teaching her skills to others. My daughters love going for nature walks and stay overs with "Aunt Kellie" because they love learning new things from her. She has a way of being able to bring it down to their level which not every survivalist can do, yet she can relate to adults and does a great job at teaching them as well.
Joe's attitude is tough and seemingly invincible when it comes to the ability to survive in any situation. He gets my vote for sure.
Jeff is extremely adaptable and manages to come through where so many others fail. He has a really positive attitude which certainly helps him succeed.
Jeff is the most decorated Naked and Afraid survivor and co-host of Dual Survival's final season with EJ Snyder. Jeff is a master fisherman and survivalist. He is tough mentally, which is inspiring.
I have never, ever seen anyone who could hunt and fish -- with no equipment -- as well as Jeff Zausch. On Naked and Afraid, Naked and Afraid XL and Dual Survival, he's proven that he can push himself to the limit and come out smiling. He's a joy to watch!
Jeff is amazing, his persistence and never die attitude get him through all his challenges.
He and his videos have provided more helpful instruction to more people than all of the others put together - with the exception of some others that you didn't list... Mors Kochanski, Larry Dean Olsen, Tom Roycraft, - heck, these three taught most of these others as well as provided them with free guidance and instruction... Your list leaves a lot to be desired. T.V. or YouTube personality doesn't equal knowledge, skill, instructional accuracy, and actual caring for "how people are taught" not just "what they are taught".
Ron Hood was my friend and mentor. I never have known a more patient and personable man. I was fortunate to have spent some time with him. He belongs at number one in my opinion.
Ron's excellent video training got me started on this road. The breadth of his knowledge and experience were evident in all that he taught. Practical, no-nonsense and funny.
Ron Hood has done survival training since long before it was popular and is responsible for making it possible for a lot of the people on this list to even be on this list. You don't own Survival.com without being the first on the scene.
I really like all of the other survival experts but Ray Mears, I can't say enough about this guy, he actually shows you how to do everything rather than people like Bear Grylls who is more like a show man who plays up for the camera bait and does stuff that you wouldn't necessarily do in a survival situation, I do think Bear and everybody else are good but for me, it's got to be Ray Mears!
With Ray Mears you get not only lessons in bushcraft and survival, but a detailed history of their origins presented in the most humble and elegant of ways. Mears is not only a instructor, he is also an thoroughly educated researcher who have studied the cultures of people all over the world for over two decades. He has shown us that one man's "survival" can be, simply, another man's daily way of life.
Ray has a proven track record in this area over decades. All of his advice is sound, well thought out and many techniques stem from thousands of years of human evolution. If you don't want to just survive but live well, across a wide spectrum of environments, follow Mears.
I agree with the previous comments. Ray Mears is not a showman. What do we really need from a bush-crafts man, a survivalist? Tools that we can apply. And before that comes understanding. He gives it to you with providing plenty of details. He enlightens you, not entertain.
Matt has skills beyond belief. Not only has he proven he can survive, he doesn't have an ego that prevents him from helping others. He not only teaches, he is actually happy to see others succeed and do well. He is a great survivalist individually but he is also a fantastic team player.
Matt is the best survivalist here. He can use a bow like Robin Hood, he teaches others, he's helpful and generous, plus he's very knowledgeable. I think he could survive in any setting for years. Best survivalist I've ever seen!
Matt is In my opinion the best Naked and Afraid survivalist on the men side. All I can say is if you went on a challenge or were put in a survival situation, Matt's the one you want by your side to see ya to the end. Phenomenal survivalist
He has such a positive attitude and always brings success to any team he's a part of. An excellent hunter, teammate, and friend. I always love to see Matt on any challenge.
His life style is almost completely off grid. His skills and ability to do more than merely survive in any environment with minimal tools is amazing.
Look at what he has done. Listen to what he has to say and you will realise he is the real deal. He tell how he learnt to survive on some interviews. He didn't learn from books or videos or even courses. He learned from the guides and people he worked with during his time in the sas.
He is also good to listen to, very down to earth and he teaches you to primarily survive. If you find yourself in a bad situation he teaches you to survive get help get to a safe place and to do it quickly and safely.
Some guys want the glory others make it look like a leisure activity some make it look like continual risk taking. Lofty makes it real minimises risk and teaches what work. I would say "Vote Lofty" every time.
I have his SAS Survival Guide: Pocket Edition. It's the original without all the edits and additions, and still it has reliable information on how to survive in pretty much any condition from Arctic to Desert with skills like rope-making, fire, hunting, scavenging with diagrams of plants from every part of the world, and just about anything you would need to know, and that's just an unrevised little pocket edition book.
How the hell is Lofty not in the top three if not number 1? This is the guy that wrote the SAS survival handbook after having served with them for 26 years and been in just about every survival situation and climate on the planet! This is the survival instructor that the likes of Bear and The Hawkes wish they were! Come on guys, do your homework instead of just voting for who's currently on T.V. A lot or has the most YouTube videos! Lofty Wiseman is the real deal and deserves to be at the top of the list.
Lofty was a hard man and unstoppable in his SAS days. He gained his knowledge from actually living it. Real situations behind enemy lines bringing the hot steel to the evil people of the world. For that alone he gets extra credit. He wrote the book on survival and others have been copying his teachings for the last 40 years. Also got a hug from the guy a couple of months ago. Was like hugging me old granddad :-) the guy is a legend!
This man does not have the word Quit in him. The only way he is going to leave is to be carried out. He has faced a lot of trials and has managed to push through. That to me is survival.
Even though he's a little impressed with himself, he IS A LEGEND. No tap outs, never gives up, and brings lots of skills with him on every challenge.
This man can survive anywhere. Watching him survive naked in the snow was so exciting. He is mentally tough, a great teammate, and impressive to watch as he navigates new sorroundings.
What can I say other than hail to the King baby lol! Steven has the cool, calm and collective down pat. When I think about what word would describe him, it definitely would be perseverance. Right up there at the top of the pack on Naked and Afraid
John is unassuming and has a quiet confidence. The classes he teaches are always well attended. John is most known for his books and articles so he doesn't often get votes because of his limited T.V. exposure. However, those who have had an opportunity to meet him know he is both knowledgeable and helpful.
John knows his stuff, excellent author and teacher. Personally I think he'd laugh to see himself listed as an expert because he always refers to himself as a student.
John knows his stuff and he teaches what he know and when he learns he passes on the knowledge. Like his concepts keep learning and pass it on.
I felt sorry that he had to vote for himself as the top expert while proclaiming "I'm no expert" laugh out loud. you can't comment on someone you didn't vote for... so I though I would vote for him too
He will survive
Mickey pushed the survival skills art to its limits on his recent 5000 miles epic expedition in the Amazon jungle. The real deal! Just recently he completed his journey. His determination to push forward along this survival journey became a great source of inspiration to cancer warriors and their families. He has been to cancer himself. And he is not a kid. I've been following Mickey's progress across the Amazon, 5,000 miles since last year. He's hacked, slashed, walked, swam, and tumbled from the western coast of South America, to the eastern coast and through the Amazon. I can't wait to see the final footage of his trek on T.V. or video or wherever he manages to get it broadcast. Just incredible! GO MICKEY!
At 66 years young this guy is hard to beat. Who else did 5000 miles through the Amazon?
Jeff Geer is an authentic woodsman. He is a hunter, fisherman, and has always been a terrific self reliant provider for his friends and family. This is a total "came from a poor background" kind of thing. The man finds time to practice and teach skills, grow and harvest food, raise a family, and still hold down a full time job. Not many others came say the same thing. And he never tries to sell you the next great survival product.
I've taken classes with Jeffy Geer and another "celebrity" instructor that resides much closer to number 1. Their places should be reversed! The amount of skill, talant, and knowledge Jeffy posseses far surpases that other "expert", and his personality and attentiveness to our needs as students is second to none. Jeffy never tried to over sell me a product or convince me to promote his brand in any way. Huge contrast between the reality of these "experts" and the popularity of their notoriety...
He is an extraordinary woodsman, writer, and teacher. This guy is a local legend and has probably killed more deer than all of these other jokers put together. I once saw him light 7 bowdrill fires back to back, just to see if he could. You'd never know it to talk to him, though. He's as humble as pie. And this guy is as giving as a birch tree. Always takes care of those in need.
I had the rare opportunity to go on a deep woods scout with Jeffy. He's the kind of guy that makes me want to be a better woodsman. What a phenomenally intelligent individual. This dude literally came from nothing! He's the working man's survivalist and I'm damn proud to know him!
I grew up reading his books when the only other survival books were army survival manuals or the BSA handbook.